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Beaver Creek, CO, Dec. 5, 2000–U.S. Ski Team member Thomas Vonn (Newburgh, NY) conquered an extremely challenging Birds of Prey course to win a Chevy Truck Super Series super G race Monday.
Outdoor Life Network will air coverage of the Beaver Creek Super Series March 8 and 15 at 9 p.m. EST.
Vonn took the win with a time of 1:24.28 on the infamous course. Russia’s Andrej Filischkin was second in 1:24.73 and Australian AJ Bear was third with a time of 1:25.01.
The Birds of Prey course has seen its action over the last week as a World Cup downhill and super G were recently run on it. Due to the World Cup, Vonn may have had anadvantage over a majority of the other competitors as he was a forerunner for the World Cup races.
“I actually thought today’s set was more difficult than the World Cup,” said Vonn. “You had to have a better inspection and it was a lotmore random. The World Cup was more evenly set and a little bit turnier.”
Vonn spent over an hour inspecting the course due to its length and tricky sections.
“I was getting lucky in places,” said Vonn. “Things were falling my way. I was getting late and then suddenly I’d make a recovery.”
The course, which features near-legendary steeps and huge air sections, claimed its share of prey during today’s race as 23 of 76racers did not finish.
Unfortunately, one of the 23 was U.S. Team member Dane Spencer (Boise, ID), who was taken down the hill via sled after crashing.Preliminary reports indicate a questionable rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament of Spencer’s right knee. There was also anindication of possible meniscus damage, which will be confirmed as soon as the MRI test results are complete.
The race also marked the return to International Ski Federation (FIS) racing for Bill Johnson, who won a gold medal in downhill at the1984 Olympics in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia. Johnson had not competed in a FIS-level race since the 1989-90 season. On Birds of Prey, hefinished in 51st place with a time of 1:33.70 while racing in the same speedsuit that crossed the finish line with him at the ’84 Games.
“I love it (ski racing). I just love it, it’s just a lot of fun,” said Johnson. “I have an opportunity to race in my own country in 2002, so I have togive it my best shot. I haven’t been able to get much training in because I’m funding the whole thing by myself, but it felt good. Someturns up there were good, some not so good.”
Brett Fischer (Winter Park, CO) finished just off the podium in fourth with a time of 1:25.20. Fischer has had an impressive week as hetook a 29th place finish out of the 57th start spot in Saturday’s World Cup downhill on Birds of Prey.
The Chevy Truck Super Series continues Tuesday with a second super G. It will conclude Wednesday with a giant slalom.